A PROPOSED law for autistic people in Wales would fail to provide an effective way to deliver improvements, Assembly Members claim.

Politicians in Flintshire were responding to parents including Deeside resident Cheryl Woodfin who feel let down that Labour Assembly Members voted against the Autism Bill.

Cheryl’s son, Jack Gerrard, was diagnosed with Angelman Syndrome and epilepsy. He is unable to walk or communicate properly.

She said: “It would be a major stepping stone for parents like me who have a child with additional needs.

“This law would ensure assessments were done in a timely manner, to improve the lives of people with autism, to collect data appropriately so services can be planned and improved.

“I don’t understand how anyone could refuse it unless it was detrimental to people with learning difficulties.”

The Autism Bill had been put forward by Welsh Assembly Conservative group leader Paul Davies AM and had been developed alongside the National Autistic Society.

The Bill’s purpose was to provide autistic people in Wales with a statutory right to receive timely services that can meet their needs and work to improve the understanding of the condition.

Mark Isherwood, Conservative North West regional Assembly Member, told the Senedd: “Every day I and my office are contacted by Autistic people or their family members in crisis.

“We are constantly having to advise public service providers - including the Integrated Autism Service – on how things need to be done differently with Autistic people. “

Cheryl, whose son is severely disabled, added: “I am very upset that all Welsh Labour AMs chose to oppose this.

Jack Sargeant, AM for Alyn and Deeside, and Hannah Blythyn, AM for Delyn, were among those who voted against the Bill.

Mr Sargeant said: “We fully support the Bill’s ambition to improve services for autistic people and recognise support does need to get better.

“We know from both personal experience and our post bags there are real and legitimate concerns that the Welsh Government takes seriously and wants to address.

“However, this legislation does not provide a practical or effective way to deliver the improvements we want to see.”

Ms Blythyn said a lot of work from Welsh Government had gone into reforming and improving autism service.

She added: “These new ways of working must be given time to bed in and should they not deliver intended improvements, the Welsh Government has expressed an openness to proposing future legislation.

“While we understand disappointment that the Bill did not go through to the next stage, this does not mean services should not be improved, nor that they will be. It is rather how we implement positive change for those who require it.”